The Coolmore National Hunt tradition began in the 1850’s with Thomas Magnier offering the services of his stallions to local breeders along the Blackwater Valley in Co. Cork. One of those stallions was the renowned Edlington whose fee was the not inconsiderable sum of £3-0s-0d.
It continued throughout the last century, firstly with Cottage, who sired the mighty Cottage Rake. Trained by Vincent O’Brien, Cottage Rake landed three Cheltenham Gold Cups (1948-50). Cottage, who is buried in the grave yard at Grange Stud, along with other leading National Hunt sires such as Even Money, Fortina and Wrekin Rambler set the standard that continued with the sensational sire Deep Run. Fortina is unique in that he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1947) and then went on to sire two winners of the race in Fort Leney (1968) and Glencaraig Lady (1972). His other top jumpers included Olympia, Fortria and Splash, all of whom won the Irish Grand National in the 1960’s.
Deep Run dominated the National Hunt sires tables in GB/IRE like no other, before or since. He remarkably notched up 14 consecutive Sires’ Championships (1979/80 – 1992/1993). Cheltenham highlights for his progeny included Golden Cygnet winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in a faster time than the Champion Hurdle, the brilliant Dawn Run adding the Gold Cup to her Champion Hurdle success, Deep Sensation landing the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the victories of the full-brothers Morley Street and Granville Again in the Champion Hurdle.
Following Deep Run’s domination of the 1980’s and 1990’s were multiple champion sires Be My Native (2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2003/04) and Supreme Leader (2004/05 and 2005/06).
The influence of Sadler’s Wells has, and will continue to be, immense on National Hunt racing. Not only did he sire the brilliant three time Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq (1998-2000) but his sons Montjeu (Hurricane Fly in 2011 and 2013), Oscar (Rock On Ruby in 2012) and Milan (Jezki in 2014) have all sired winners of the race, while a grandson sired the 2010 winner Binocular. The 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup also went to a son of Sadler’s Wells, Synchronised, while the 2005 winner Kicking King and 2014 winner Lord Windermere (Oscar) are by two of his numerous top-class National Hunt sire sons.